Joel Eckman Maus

Owner · Principle Photographer

 Joel was first struck by the power of photography a few years after his beloved grandmother 'Gram' had passed, he came across a candid photo of her mid-laugh. The image brought the sound of her unique laugh back to Joel's mind as if it were yesterday!  Joel grew up next door to Gram and as he laid in bed at night slowly drifting off to sleep with his head buried in is Snoopy pillow her two-toned high pitched laugh, caused by funny friends on the phone, would venture out her living room window, through the rose garden and into Joel's open window giving him comfort and security that all was right in the world and it was safe to drift away. This image was a jewel, a true gift that brought little piece of Gram back.  A few years later, Jeni, now his wife of 18 years, bought him a camera their very first Christmas together- he immediately started photo classes and continued taking classes until he won first place in the OCC Zone One Student Exhibition. At that point he was ready to quit his college job at the supermarket (of ten years) and after taking an eight week solo road trip to Alaska with his camera and his mountain bike, he came home to start his new business: Eckman Maus Photography (later changed into Studio EMP) in 1999. Eckman was Gram's maiden name and he found it only fitting to honor her this way. Joel was now ready to make and give gifts of  their 'moments' to as many people as possible. 

Every wedding he documents brings back the importance of family. After shooting his first few weddings, he realized he had the ability to give the amazing gift of wonderful, natural moments to his clients. For this reason he not only takes natural, real-life images of them, but also of their parents and grandparents. The thrill of the hunt is what gets him most fired up at events- the hunt  for exquisite natural light and the hunt for personal, candid moments like that of his grandmother.

Joel's work can be found in several publications such as Grace Ormonde Wedding Style, The Knot, Inside Weddings, Destination Weddings + Honeymoons, Utterly Engaged and was recently named the 'Best Wedding Photographer in Orange County' in 2014 + 2015 by California Wedding Day Magazine. 

When he’s not holding a camera, you will find him enjoying his children, his wife, Jeni of Found Rentals, and their pups, #MissyMaus and #mrwillardmaus. To get to know him a bit better find him on Instagram @joel_studioemp. Be sure to follow @studioemp as well.

Available to travel worldwide. For more information and to check Joel's availability, please contact him at